Hiroshima-born, Montreal-based singer-songwriter Jonah Yano shares his new single and video "portrait of a dog," the title track of his forthcoming sophomore album entirely co-produced with BADBADNOTGOOD, out January 27th. The new offering arrives on the heels of Yano's stint supporting Clairo for the last leg of her North American and the entirety of her European tour dates, which wrapped up last month. He also closed the live run with a headline show of his own at Servant Jazz Quarters in London. "portrait of a dog" is a sweeping arrangement that finds Jonah gliding over keys and guitar with heartfelt vocals before the song swells into a winding guitar solo, and is accompanied by a video co-directed by Erin O'Connor, Matisse A-M and Kostadin Kolev.
Speaking on the continued theme of the visuals he's released so far, Yano says "'portrait of a dog' is a video that, like the most recent video for the song ‘always’, is made up of uninterrupted, continuous, and static shots. The thinking behind the monotonous visual information in these new videos comes from a disinterest in the ever-increasing over-saturation and pace of digital media surrounding musicians that is furthering the divide between musicians-as-artists and musicians-as-commodity."
The collaborators, Erin O’Connor, Matisse A-M, and Kostadin Kolev ('portrait of a dog'), and Nik Arthur and David May ('always'), were the directors and producers of these videos because I feel they understand why it might be interesting (and surprisingly challenging) to try and make a music video that did not grab and attempt to retain the attention of a viewer through brightly colored sets and a large amount of cutting back and forth between an array of visually stimulating shots. In trying to subtract most of the elements that exist in the average music video we found it crucial that the idea for the video at its core had to be strong enough to stand on its own for 5 straight minutes – to get the idea across without making a pointless video."
It’s a focused departure from Yano’s previous recordings – establishing a clear sonic identity throughout the album’s 12 songs to weave together two complementary narrative threads of a family archive and exploration of the family dynamics in the Japanese-Canadian household he grew up in, and a deeply personal recollection of a fading relationship. Beyond the co-production of BADBADNOTGOOD, "portrait of a dog" features additional guest work from Slauson Malone, Sea Oleena, with string arrangements by Eliza Niemi, Leland Whitty, and Yano himself. Yano's forthcoming second album follows his cover of Jessica Pratt’s "This Time Around" and his highly acclaimed 2020 debut LP souvenir, which he spoke about with Lulu Garcia-Navarro on NPR's Weekend Edition.